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Applications Open For Two Arts Grant Opportunities

$5.7 million in total available to enhance and activate cultural vibrancy across Boston.

Mayor Michelle Wu and the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture today announced two grant applications are open for arts, cultural, and creative programming in Boston. Boston Cultural Council (BCC) organizational grants are available for organizations that benefit the public by offering arts programming in Boston's neighborhoods. Neighborhood and Downtown Activation Grants are available for community-focused arts and cultural activations that imagine new uses for publicly accessible spaces.

“Every Boston neighborhood deserves access to vibrant arts programming to bring community together and provide enriching cultural opportunities for all our residents.,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “I’m excited for these two grant opportunities to bolster culture in our City and look forward to how Bostonians will work together to foster creative arts programming and activations for our communities.”

“Through the Neighborhood and Downtown Activation Grants and BCC funding, Boston residents can bring meaningful arts programming to life in their neighborhoods,” said Kara Elliott-Ortega, Chief of Arts and Culture for the City of Boston. “These programs allow us to invest in a diverse group of grantees, including arts organizations small and large, artists, collectives, and local small businesses that all share the common goal of making the arts more accessible for their communities.”

Boston Cultural Council Organizational Grants

Boston Cultural Council organizational grants are meant to support arts, cultural, and creative organizations in Boston with general operating expenses. Organizations with budgets under $2 million that are based in Boston or offer programming in Boston are eligible to apply. Grant sizes are dependent on the organization’s operating budget:

Annual Budget

Funding Amount

$1 - 2 million

$5,000

$500,000 - $1 million

$7,500

Less than $500,000 

$10,000

The Boston Cultural Council (BCC) works under the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture to annually distribute funds allocated by the City of Boston and the Mass Cultural Council for local arts, cultural, and creative programming. The BCC is committed to funding small to mid-sized organizations that demonstrate and promote cultural equity in the Boston arts ecosystem. 

The deadline to apply for BCC grants is Friday, November 17, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. There will be drop-in virtual office hours on Tuesdays from 3 - 4 p.m. every week from October 3, 2023 to November 14, 2023 for organizations interested in learning more about the application process. More information can be found at boston.gov/arts-grants.

Neighborhood and Downtown Activation Grants

The Neighborhood and Downtown Activation Grant is a grant designed to support community-focused arts, cultural, and creative activations in public spaces that foster joy and strengthen community wellbeing across Boston neighborhoods. Individuals, non profit organizations, collectives, fiscally sponsored groups, and/or businesses working in partnership with community organizations are eligible to apply.

There is a total of $5 million available in this fund that will be distributed over multiple rounds of rolling applications. Grant sizes are dependent on the scale and type of activation:

  • Cultural Festival: $5,000, one time grant
  • Small-Scale Activation: Less than $20,000, one time grant
  • Mid-Scale Activation: Less than $50,000, one time grant
  • Large-Scale Activation: $50,000 - $100,000, multiyear and one time grant
  • Multiyear Activation: $100,000 - $400,000 multiyear, up to 3 years

The Neighborhood and Downtown Activation Grants are supported by funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and Boston Planning and Development Public Impact Contribution Funds.

The deadline to apply for round two of the Neighborhood and Downtown Activation Grants is October 31, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. More information can be found at boston.gov/neighborhood-and-downtown-activation-grant.

About the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture

The Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture is a City agency that enhances the quality of life, the economy, and the design of the City through the arts. The role of the arts in all aspects of life in Boston is reinforced through equitable access to arts and culture in every community, its public institutions, and public places. Key areas of work include support to the cultural sector through grants and programs, support of cultural facilities and artist workspace, as well as the commissioning, review, and care of art in public places.

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